The day-long statewide bandh called by the Left Front to protest against Centre's alleged indifference towards Andhra Pradesh remained effective in many parts of the state, media reports said on Thursday. A senior police official said that no untoward incident had been reported, adding that the shutdown was continuing peacefully across the state.
A complete shutdown was observed in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Srikakulam and Prakasam districts in Andhra Pradesh, various media reports said. Most streets in Visakhapatnam were deserted. Many shopkeepers voluntarily shut their shops in support of the bandh, reported 101 Reporters. However, The Indian Express reported that several motorcycle-bound youth enforced the bandh in many parts of Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. The report added they closed down shutter of shops which had opened in the morning.
The effect of the bandh was also seen on transport services as the APSRTC kept its buses off the roads. Over 1,300 RTC buses did not ply today, reported PTI. The bandh call was also supported by the auto and taxi unions, which caused problems for the common man across the state.
Thin attendance was reported in government offices and public sector undertakings like Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, National Thermal Power Corp and Hindustan Shipyard and other Public Sector Undertakings.
All schools and colleges were also shut across the state as a precautionary measure. The Andhra University (AU) announced suspension of classes to avoid inconvenience to students. "Classes would be suspended at the Visakhapatnam-based AU and its affiliated colleges," said Registrar V Umamaheswara Rao.
Medical services remained unaffected during the bandh, reported The News Minute.
Opposition parties were enforcing the day-long bandh to protest the "failure" of the Centre to implement the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Opposition parties have been protesting the "injustice" done to the state in the Union Budget 2018-19 and the Centre's failure to implement the Act in its letter and spirit. The Act deals with a host of issues like division of assets and liabilities of institutions between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and release of funds for Polavaram project and other schemes in Andhra Pradesh.
The main opposition YSR Congress, the Congress and the Jana Sena had extended support to the bandh.
YSRC president and leader of opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who was in Nellore, declared a one-day break from his ongoing padayatra in view of the bandh. In Kurnool, Guntur and Tirupati, YSRC activists joined protest rallies. Left workers staged dharnas in front of several Road Transport Corporation depots and also took out rallies in important towns.
The Hindu reported that Jana Sena workers in Eluru held novel protest by eating grass. The report said that this was symbolic of the state of the people after the meager allocation in the Union Budget.
At the same time, the ruling Telugu Desam organised rallies across the state in solidarity with its MPs "fighting in Parliament to secure the state's rights". "People and intellectuals irrespective of political affiliations should stand in solidarity with our MPs, who have been fighting in Parliament for the state's rights," state TDP president and Energy Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao said.
Ahead of the shutdown, the police had beefed up security across the state. Director-General of Police M Malakondaiah had directed superintendents of police in all districts to take all measures to maintain law and order. The officials in districts were asked to take precautionary measures to protect public property and also keep a tight vigil.
With inputs from agencies and 101 Reporters View More